New to adoption? Welcome to the club.
Adoption touches a growing number of Americans. But most people know very little about it.
And the little they do know from depictions in the movies or the media — such as the story the adoptive mother who sent her son back to Moscow alone on a plane — is enough to make them head for the hills.
The truth is, adoption is a complicated issue. The definition is simple enough. But the process — and the feelings that it stirs up in people — is anything but.
Adoption involves transferring the parental rights from one person or couple to another person or couple. Unlike foster care, which is a temporary arrangement, it’s permanent. That means that adoptive parents have the same rights and responsibilities as biological parents.
Once you relinquish your rights to your child, your decision is irrevocable. You can’t suddenly change your mind and get your child back. As a result, it’s important to explore all of your options in order to make an informed decision.
Adoption is a loving decision that involves putting your child’s interests above your own. It’s often as a one-time event. But it’s actually a lifelong process that changes and evolves over the years.
Most people choose adoption as a result of an unplanned pregnancy. But it’s not their first choice. They usually come to it indirectly, after exhausting their other aptions like terminating their pregnancy or parenting.
So, if you’re having doubts about your decision, not to worry. Most people in your situation go through a similar process of questioning.
Some of the questions you may be asking yourself include
- Am I making the right decision?
- Will my child’s adoptive parents love him as much as I do?
- How can I be sure they’re the right parents for my child?
- Will I feel the same way about my decision in the future?
- How do I know my child won’t grow up resenting me?
Probably the first thing you need to know is that adoption has changed over the years. And mostly for the better.
In the past, expectant parents didn’t have any rights. Under the old system of closed adoptions, they were forced to give up their babies and never saw them again.
Today, thanks to open adoption, you can actually take an active role in choosing your baby’s parents. And you can have an ongoing relationship with your child as he or she gets older.
Being part of the decision-making process gives you more control over it and lets you have a voice in your baby’s future. But it doesn’t necessarily make things easier.
When it comes to dealing with an unplanned pregnancy there are no easy answers. We can explain the basics of adoption to you and help you find a family when you’re ready.
But no matter how you look at it, adoption still involves pain and loss. That’s why it’s important to do your research while you still have time and get proper advice and guidance from licensed adoption professionals.
As your delivery date draws nearer, there will be days when you’ll wake up feeling completely overwhelmed. You’ll wonder if you’re making the right decision.
Just remember: it’s all part of the process. At the same time, keep in mind that each year hundreds of expectant parents go on to place their babies in loving homes. And find peace with their decision. With the right planning and preparation, eventually you can too.